Hiring The Right Houston Divorce Attorney
Divorce is a difficult time and it can be challenging to figure out where to begin the process. The key to a time-efficient and cost-effective divorce in Houston, Texas is to have the right family law attorney representing you. However, it can be tricky to determine what to look for in the ideal Houston lawyer and law firm but here are some tips to help you get started.
Establish Clear Expectations
The sole purpose of your Houston, Texas family law attorney is to represent you throughout the legal processes of resolving child custody issues and dissolving assets. Never confuse the role of a divorce and family law lawyer with that of a therapist or friend. Keep in mind that attorneys usually have higher rates than therapists and that the clock of attorneys is always running. Knowing what to expect from your family law attorney right from the beginning will help the process move along quicker and will save you money in the long run.
Know What You Want From Your Houston Divorce Attorney
There are other options available to you, like a mediator, if you do not have any children or considerable shared finances to negotiate over. However, you will need to consult a Houston, Texas family law firm and hire a Houston, Texas divorce lawyer if the negotiations become more complicated since only attorneys are fully knowledgeable of current laws. Another option is a collaborative divorce, which aims to preserve an amicable, co-parenting relationship. On the other end of the spectrum is a litigated trial, which often comes about when neither side is willing to negotiate. Every divorce is unique so you must decide which avenue is best for your situation.
As difficult as it may sound, it is important to stay as unemotional as possible when negotiating material items. If you have a child, being petty about material things that are not that meaningful to you in the big picture will just extend the divorce process and make it very costly. Instead, your goal should be to make decisions that will speed up the divorce, not put yourself in overwhelming financial debt, and result in the best possible situation for your child. It is important to pinpoint the type of divorce that will accomplish this for you and to steer in that direction.
Know The Different Types of Houston Divorce Attorneys
Not all family law Houston attorneys are created equal and it can be difficult to find one that is the perfect match for you. Divorce is a highly personalized process so it is up to you to decide what you want from your divorce and family law attorney, which includes many different characteristics from which to choose from. For instance, are you looking for a particularly aggressive divorce and family law attorney? What is your budget? If you have a child, what is the best decision for your family? Here are a few types of Houston divorce lawyers to be aware of during your search.
The Gender Houston Lawyer
Several family law attorneys claim that the court system is biased towards a specific gender and that you need a divorce attorney that is knowledgeable of divorce law when it comes to gender. These Houston, Texas family law lawyers advertise themselves as only representing clients of a specific gender. Yet the best attorneys are often those that represent both men and women equally. Lawyers that follow this gender discrimination train of thought may even risk alienating certain judges, putting your chances of getting favorable terms in jeopardy.
The Expensive, Trendy Houston Lawyer
These types of Houston family law lawyers are immediately recognizable since they usually flaunt expensive cars, large offices, and huge staffs. While an expensive, trendy Houston family law firm and lawyer often become that way due to their high skills, you are likely to find equally as excellent representation from another Houston lawyer charging half the price.
The Houston Demolisher
You should steer clear of a Houston Demolisher family law lawyer if you are open to mediation or intend to have any kind of collaborative divorce. This type of Houston family law attorney focuses on using the law to demolish the other side in hopes of awarding his or her client the better terms. Most Houston Demolishers are always game for court if that will help give their client a more favorable outcome. Oftentimes, this type of Houston attorney is only willing to settle after they have cast the other side as the villain.
The Houston Settler
A lot of clients may view the Houston Settler in a negative light but actually, most divorces and family law issues are settled. In fact, the overwhelming majority of divorce cases in Houston, Texas never see the inside of a courtroom since they are settled beforehand. In the big picture, this is oftentimes favorable since Houston divorces can be processed faster and for less money. A settlement keeps the interests of both parties in mind, with a goal of leaving both sides as satisfied as possible. If a child is involved, Houston Settler lawyers are often best.
The Arrogant Houston Lawyer
Houston family law attorneys that are obviously egotistical often do not succeed at representing your interest in the best way. These types of Houston family law lawyers often run into trouble since they often tend to forget that the judge is the one that ultimately makes the final decision concerning a case. For instance, an arrogant Houston family law lawyer may have his whole case carefully planned and if the judge interrupts the process, it may cause him or her to be overly frustrated. If you have a divorce lawyer that is not able to be flexible, your case will likely suffer.
The General Practice Houston Lawyer
A lot of people choose general practice law firms and lawyers in Houston, rather than divorce specialists. While this choice is usually acceptable for simpler Houston divorces, if your divorce is even somewhat complicated, you should consider a divorce attorney. Only lawyers specializing in divorce and family law are capable of staying up to date with the latest divorce law. Houston divorce attorneys are more experienced in handling divorce cases and will be able to provide you with more in-depth knowledge.
Research Potential Houston Attorneys
With all the different types of family law lawyers in Houston, it is important that you do not hire the very first one you meet. You want to hire an attorney that has experience in the exact type of divorce you are looking for. Another critical component of hiring the right lawyer is making sure that he or she is local. Only local, Houston lawyers will be able to adequately advise you if your divorce heads to trial. You can begin your search by asking your friends for personal recommendations and by going online.
Interview At Least Three Houston Attorneys
It is important to find a Houston, Texas family law firm and attorney that has experience in family law and is comfortable advising you given your unique situation. Always ask about a lawyer’s rates, including their hourly rate and retainer fee, over a phone call and before agreeing to an in-person meeting. While most divorce attorneys provide a free consultation, it is a waste of everyone’s time if you are unable to afford their services. You can also get a glimpse at your potential attorney’s negotiation skills by looking up their trial record.
Make Your Choice
Most importantly, the divorce attorney and law firm you choose should be trustworthy and make you feel comfortable. Your lawyer should follow divorce processes that are in line with your expectations. The right attorney should be affordable and always honest with you, always willing to explain the law. Divorce greatly changes your life so you have a right to be picky when it comes to choosing your lawyer. Just remember to take your time and choose a divorce attorney in Houston, Texas that listens to you and always has your best interests in mind.
To learn more about how some of the best divorce lawyers in Houston, Texas can help you with your divorce, call the Skillern Firm today for a consultation.